INVEST is an acronym used in Agile software development to define a set of criteria that help ensure that user stories or requirements are well-defined and ready for implementation. It was introduced by Bill Wake as a mnemonic for remembering these essential characteristics of good user stories.

Each letter in the INVEST acronym represents a key aspect of a well-written user story:

  1. Independent: User stories should be independent of each other, meaning that one story’s implementation and completion should not be dependent on another. This allows for flexibility in prioritizing and sequencing work.
  2. Negotiable: User stories should be open to negotiation and discussion between the development team and the product owner. They should not be overly prescriptive, allowing the team to find the best solutions to meet the requirements.
  3. Valuable: Each user story should deliver tangible value to the end-users or stakeholders. It should address a specific need or provide a clear benefit.
  4. Estimable: User stories should be clear enough to be estimated in terms of complexity, effort, or relative size. This helps the development team plan and prioritize work effectively.
  5. Small: User stories should be small enough to be implemented within a single development iteration or Sprint. Smaller stories make it easier to manage, review, and demonstrate progress.
  6. Testable: User stories should have clear and well-defined acceptance criteria, making them testable to determine whether the story has been successfully implemented and meets the desired outcome.

By adhering to the INVEST principles, Agile teams can create user stories that are well-crafted, easy to understand, and provide maximum value to the stakeholders. This improves collaboration, enables better planning, and helps the team deliver high-quality software that meets user needs effectively.

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